Videos of Black Holes

Ransom Riggs

The trouble with black holes, aside from their propensity to annihilate anything near them, is that they're some of the most fascinating phenomena in space to geeks like myself, but are tough suckers to photograph, since they're both very far away and their gravitational pull is so great that light cannot escape from them. (Stephen Wright famously quipped that "black holes are where God divided by zero.") But that hasn't stopped people from making movies about them -- and I don't mean Hollywood. 3D animation has come a long way in the last few years, and science videos have benefited greatly from its advances.

Ever wondered what a black hole eating a star would look like? Even if you haven't, this might be the coolest video you see all week:

Here's another video conception of a black hole eating a star -- a neutron star. Note the way the star elongates into a crescent as it's breaking apart (sort of like a human body would supposedly become rather spaghetti-like under the same kind of stress) and how it emits shining jets of belched-out star gas as it's "feeding." Crazy and cool!